Brian Blessed collapses playing King Lear only to return to the stage like a trooper

The veteran actor was treated by a doctor before resuming the role

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The Independent Culture

Brian Blessed has collapsed on stage while playing King Lear, only to return shortly afterwards to finish the show.

The English actor, 78, had only just begun his lines in the famous Shakespearean tragedy when he fainted and fell.

As the Monday night audience looked on bemused, fellow actor Noel White who was playing the Earl of Kent asked for help, according to the Daily Mail.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is not part of the play,” he said. “Is there a doctor in the house?”

Fortunately there was, and a surgeon at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford assisted Blessed in front of theatre-goers, including his daughter Rosalind, before he was clapped off stage.

Just twenty minutes later, Blessed returned to resume his role with the Guildford Shakespeare Company and apologised for the interruption.

“I feel such an idiot and am not in the habit of doing this, but I have a little fibrillation,” he is believed to have said.

Blessed successfully completed the play, patting his heart and giving a thumbs up before leaving at the end.

“Brian was an inspirational wonder,” said director Caroline Devan. “He had a small heart operation three years ago. We are not entirely sure why he became so dizzy but he is a 20-year-old in a 78-year-old’s body. There was no stopping him.”

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